So, do you live life on your heels or on your toes?  As I’ve reflected back on my trip to Africa there’s one thing that has leapt off the pages of my mind that seems to speak to this as well as answering the question of why so many past life experiences have seemed so “surreal” to me.  For example, I wonder if you’ve experienced those times when, in the ensuing days following a trip you’ve found yourself wondering, “Was I just there?”  Well, I believe I’ve found the key that unlocks the doorway to this phenomenon, at least as it relates to me and perhaps, something for you to consider as well.  Interestingly we even talked about this topic before (see the Archives – January 18, 2011) but not in this context or application.  It’s the issue of our posture. 

Looking back on this recent trip and other significant life experiences I’ve noted that my posture so often times could best be characterized as a “posture of prevention.”  Reflecting back however on this most recent time away I’ve realized that my posture going in would best be described as a, “posture of preparation.” Consider with me some of the contrasts between the two.  As noted above one has us on our heels seemingly railing against life rather than on our toes leaning into all of what life might have in store for us.  One has us asking the life-draining questions of “what might happen or what if?” versus other, more offensively-minded, life-giving questions such as, “what could be or what’s next?” I mean doesn’t it seem the latter question puts us into a more expectant mode looking at all of the possibilities life might have to offer? 

Well, the one contrast that has pointed me directly to the “why” of those past surreal feelings was this; my posture of preparation yielded a true, moment by moment living into the fullness of my time in Africa.  This is in direct opposition to what I now see as a distracted, “always getting ahead of myself” frame of mind as I would futility try to anticipate and build contingencies to “prevent” (a.k.a “control”) all the possibilities of what could go wrong.  Said another way it now is so clear to me that those surreal feelings were born out of being physically present but somewhat mentally or emotionally absent during so many of the grand experiences life has sent my way.  Now to be sure there are certainly times in life where prudence and good judgment would point us to take a “preventative” stance on things but even then prevention simply should be seen as a necessary component of good preparation.  So, the question for me now is how can this posture of preparation become my default setting?  How can I live in such a way that what was once surreal becomes real to me both day in and day out?  To live a life where I’m “checked in” rather than “checked out.” Perhaps the answer can be found in remaining mindful of which part of my foot I’m standing on.  More importantly however I probably need to remain ever vigilant as to what constitutes the foundation on which I stand.  How is it with you?  Are you prepared for life or just trying to prevent it?  Might I suggest you consider standing on the Solid Rock?  Peace.